Radical Museology …In Historic House Museums?
CEREV is proud to present “Radical Museology …In Historic House Museums?,” a talk by Jennifer Scott, Director of the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, Chicago
April 1, 2015
Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling, Department of History
JW McConnell Library Building
1400 de Maisonneuve Blvd W.
This is a free event and open to all. No registration is necessary.
Historic house museums are associated with antique furniture, bygone architecture, and elite and obscure histories. They are certainly not seen as players in movements for radical social change. Yet Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn, New York and the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum in Chicago show how urban historic house museums may deliberately and dynamically take on issues of injustice and social inequity in the past and present.
Using their own histories as sites of activism where key social reformers organized socially marginalized communities, these radical museums today work to confront present-day social justice issues including poverty, violence, mass incarceration, labor, education, and gender disparity. Through research, programming, exhibitions and oral history, these sites represent a museological avant-garde as they explore how their own histories of oppression can be linked to, inform, and help transform today’s injustices in rapidly changing social conditions.
Jennifer Scott is an anthropologist, public historian, and curator, and has for 20 years worked with museums, non-profits, arts and history organizations including the International Coalition of the Sites of Conscience, the Brooklyn Historical Society, and City Lore. She served for ten years as the Vice Director and Director of Research at Weeksville Heritage Center, an historic house museum specializing in socially relevant applications of history, culture, and the arts. She has taught since 2003 at the New School for Public Engagement, and in January 2015 was appointed Director of the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum in Chicago, a nationally significant historic site grounded in women’s and immigrant history and dedicated to contemporary social justice issues. She holds degrees from Stanford University, the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and has published a number of academic and popular articles.